Dallas Buyers Club was one of the most anticipated films that premiered the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, which is where I had the great pleasure of seeing the film. Dallas Buyers Club is the film that people have been talking about ever since pictures of Matthew McConaughey from the set surfaced where McConaughey looked like a walking skeleton. Yes, this is the film where McConaughey pulled a Christian Bale and lost a ton of weight to play Ron Woodroof, a Texas electrician, who learns that he is HIV-Positive in 1986.
If you read the general plot synopsis of this film, you would probably ask yourself the following: “Why the hell would they anyone make a film about some random guy in Texas when there are so many others who also have suffered from this?” Well, the answer is because there is so much more to the story besides his battle with HIV. This film focuses on how one man fought with hospitals and pharmaceutical companies in order to survive and what he fought for helped and changed the lives of hundreds of people, who also were diagnosed with the same disease.
There is so much good to say about this film that it’s almost hard to pick where to start. I think the easiest place to start is with the performances. While so many people will be in awe of McConaughey’s performance in this film, which is definitely one of his best roles to date, but I do have to say that there is another person in this film who is worthy of some attention come award season. This person is Jared Leto, who for the first half of the movie, I kept asking myself “Who the hell is playing the transvestite?”
Jared Leto is absolutely absent from this film and is replaced by this character Rayon that he brought to life. He is absolutely spectacular in this film and his role requires him not only to be the film’s comedic relief, but also hold some of the more dramatic moments of the film. It would be an absolute crime is Leto did not receive some sort of recognition for this film come award season.
As for McConaughey, he is Ron Woodroof. He gets lost in this performance and as an audience member you completely forget that you are watching the guy that only a few years ago did nothing else but smirk and take his shirt off. It is so impressive to see McCaughney grow as an actor because at first many of us thought of him as just another pretty face, but now he has become this actor who many can’t wait to see what film he does next.
Ron Woodroof is such a complicated character because on the surface he is an unlikable asshole that womanizes, drinks, does drugs, and is a huge homophobe. To put it simply, he is the perfect example of what I would call “white trash.” However, as the film unfolds this unlikable man ultimately becomes someone that we as audience members are rooting for. McConaughey’s performance is so perfect because even when his character seems to be getting soft, McConaughey never lets him become unbelievable. It’s not like in most movies where the characters instantly change and by the time the film ends they are perfect. I admire that a lot about this film.
Honestly, I don’t want to go into much detail about the plot because I don’t want to spoil too much of this film for those who have yet to see it. The film is simply a very interesting story about one man going up against big corporations. It’s a film that raises a lot of questions about the Medical and Pharmaceutical industry, which makes me really question how much of things that took place in this film are still happening today since profits are much more of a concern today than they were back in the 1980s.
All in All, Dallas Buyers Club is one of those film that you go see for the performances and as I said, these are some of the best ones that I have seen all year. The film’s story is fast paced, interesting, and rather controversial but I have heard people mention that it’s the weakest link, even though I beg to differ. I think this film is an important film and one that people should see not only because it seems like a passion project, but also because it says a lot about how the medical industry works and how scary of a place it can ultimately be. I am hoping that if nothing else, McConaughey and Leto get nominated for “Best Actor” and “Best Supporting Actor” this upcoming award season.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Dallas Buyers Club is a 9 out of 10.